Police Use of Force: Deceased Ojibwa Man Was Visiting Vancouver

Police use of force: Deceased Ojibwe man was visiting Vancouver

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The family of Chris Amyotte, 42, identified him as the man who died after he was shot by Vancouver police with a pellet bag gun on August 22, 2022.

The man who died Monday morning after being hit multiple times with a bag shotgun by Vancouver police has been identified by family members as Chris Amyotte, a father of seven aged 42 years old from Winnipeg.

Chris Amyotte's cousin, Samantha Wilson, explains that the Winnipegger was in Vancouver to visit his family, including two of his children.

Samantha Wilson says that according to witnesses, including another cousin, Chris Amyotte was distraught after being sprayed with mace, a incapacitating gas, moments before police arrived on the scene.

“He was asking passers-by for help and to call 911. I know that when help arrived he did not respect their request to lie down. Shots were fired and he lost his life.

— Samantha Wilson, cousin of Chris Amyotte

It was an unarmed man asking for help. He was obviously suffering from the mace that was all over his clothes and skin. A witness said he tried using water to lessen the effects of bear spray and it made it worse, says Samantha Wilson.

Witnesses say the man took off his clothes and doused himself with milk from a convenience store on East Hastings Street, just before he was shot on the pavement.

Samantha Wilson portrays Chris Amyotte as a devoted father and husband whose family comes from Rolling River First Nation in Manitoba, an Ojibwa community.

“My cousin Chris was very outgoing, he was the kind of person to crack jokes at our family gatherings. The kind of guy who broke the ice with everyone and teased everyone.

— Samantha Wilson, cousin of Chris Amyotte

Vancouver police said little about the incident, except to issue a brief statement that did not originally mention the use of the pellet bag gun. Following an interaction with police, the man was taken into custody. He then went into medical distress and lost consciousness. The man died at the scene despite rescue attempts, it read.

On Tuesday, a police spokesperson confirmed that police shot the man with a pellet bag gun, but did not answer when asked whether or not Chris Amyotte was armed. . He passed the buck to the province's Independent Investigations Office (IIO), a civilian-run policing agency in British Columbia.

A carrier Word from the IIO says it cannot comment on specifics of the case at this time.

According to Kash Heed, former provincial solicitor general and former chief of West Vancouver Police, a pellet bag gun is used by police when a situation requires a non-lethal force option. They are recognizable by a brightly colored barrel.

It's meant to arrest [the subject], stun them for that instant so officers can consider the options they have, or arrest the individual, he explains.

Kash Heed claims to have never heard of a pellet bag gun directly causing a death.

Chris Amyotte photographed in 2016.

The IOI is in charge of the investigation, and its spokesperson Rebecca Whalen says he cannot estimate how long it will take. We do not have a timeline for completing this or any other investigation, as many complex factors play a role in the time taken [for investigations].

Rebecca Whalen clarified that the IOI's investigations are currently taking longer and that the organization is seeing a significant increase in new incidents.

Since 2019, the average number of days the IOI spends on an investigation has increased from 46 to 68 days due to increased workload and inability to attract and recruit [ enough] investigators for full staffing, according to the organization's latest annual report.

With information from Joel Ballard< /p>

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